Coco Gauff has been dubbed the future of women’s tennis since she was 15. She arrived at the US Open on Saturday and took her first Grand Slam championship. Gauff has won the youngest US Open Grand Slam since Serena Williams took the title in 1999.
The championship moment as heard on US Open radio 🎙️⤵️ pic.twitter.com/PzB4dTTQJo— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 9, 2023
The 19-year-old American outlasted No. 2 seed Aryna Sabalenka, the new top-ranked player in the WTA, in a 2-6, 6-3, 6-2 thriller in the US Open final at Arthur Ashe Stadium. She becomes the 11th teenager ever to win a Grand Slam singles title, and the question now becomes how many more are in front of her.
“Today was the first time I’ve ever seen my dad cry,” Gauff said to ESPN after the match. “He doesn’t want me to tell y’all that, but he got caught in 4K. He thinks he’s so hard, but you know he’s not … My dad took me to this tournament [years ago], sitting right there watching Venus and Serena [Williams] compete, so it’s really incredible to be on this stage.”
Hugs all around for the Gauff family! 🤗 pic.twitter.com/OFWxBD2c3j— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 9, 2023
Saturday was Gauff’s third tournament win after losing the first set. Per ESPN Stats & Info, the only other person to win the US Open in that fashion was Gauff’s idol, Serena Williams, who did it at 17 years old in 1999.
Coco Gauff overcame a head start from Aryna Sabalenka. It took an epic comeback against Madison Keys for Sabalenka to reach the final as well, but there was no slow start by the Belarusian this time. Sabalenka opened the match by breaking Gauff in front of a highly partial New York crowd looking for the first American US Open champion since Sloane Stephens in 2017.
Gauff broke Sabalenka back three games later, but that was the last game she’d win in the first set. Sabalenka, one of the hardest hitters on tour, showed an overpowering form that even Gauff’s speed couldn’t neutralize her.
By the end of the match, Gauff was showing her speed.
After four years of waiting, Gauff won her first WTA 1000 event at the Cincinnati Open last month and didn’t stop there.
“Honestly, thank you to the people who didn’t believe in me,” Gauff said. “A month ago, I won a 500 and people said I would stop at that. Two weeks ago, I won a 1000 title and people said that was the biggest it was going to get. Three weeks later, I’m here with this trophy right now.”
What a backhand winner from Coco Gauff! pic.twitter.com/JhDcFpsJ4E— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 9, 2023
This defense from Coco 😮— US Open Tennis (@usopen) September 9, 2023
She's up 4-0 in the third set. pic.twitter.com/F5AirHdkLa